Amadeus by Peter Shaffer
Pit and Balcony Community Theatre, 2008
Directed and designed by Marc Beaudin
“Beaudin’s musical score set is gorgeous and his direction outstanding in keeping show flowing without any of the scene changes stopping the action. There also are numerous intriguing visuals – silhouettes of townspeople and concert audiences, tableaus, detailing in food, appealing entrances and exits, tech stuff that works on cue. … one of the stellar local performances of the season.” –The Saginaw News
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Director’s Note from the Program:
For a director, there’s a short list of dream scripts out there. Pieces of literature that are so well-written and so perfectly suited to be staged, that working with them reminds one of just how high art can climb. For me, Amadeus is without a doubt one such play.
Peter Shaffer manages to take a few scraps of rumor, a handful of details, and build a story that is mostly non-historical, yet somehow more true than history; more real than reality. He gives us eternal themes: jealousy, passion, beauty, transcendence, love, hate, and death. Universal truths that are intimately personal to each of us. A sort of morality play for dark times, Shaffer’s tale conflicts the opposing forces of immorality and amorality. Salieri is deeply religious man whose sensibility of right and wrong means everything; yet he destroys his morality in waging his war. Mozart, on the other hand, exists in the world of the artist, above and beyond the black and white of moral issues. For him, there’s music and love and humor and wine – a world of pleasures that come bounding, ceaselessly and effortlessly like his trillos and arpeggios, and with no moral strings attached.
Through this battle, we encounter the mediocrity in the face of genius that confronts each of us on some level. We are reminded that most of our violence against our rivals is actually against ourselves. In the end, we may find absolution and comfort – that remains to be seen; but we are guaranteed an unforgettable journey, accompanied by some of the greatest music ever composed.
The set features a giant reproduction of a manuscript page in Mozart’s hand of the “Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major,” flanked by blue marble columns. The piano is a reproduction of Mozart’s own pianoforte, fitted with a working keyboard that could be played live as well as playing recorded music sent from the sound booth, including pieces recorded by Noel Howland.